A federal judge has dismissed a $41.5 million lawsuit that protesters in Ferguson, Mo., had filed against police, the city and the county, alleging that police used excessive force against them during unrest that erupted after a white police officer shot an unarmed black teenager in August 2014.
In a 74-page decision, Judge Henry Autrey ruled that plaintiffs “have completely failed to present any credible evidence” that any actions by police “were taken with malice or were committed in bad faith” during protests in the wake of the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson. Brown was killed by Officer Darren Wilson. A grand jury declined to indict Wilson in Brown’s death.
Autrey wrote that police gave numerous orders for the protesters to disperse and that police “clearly had argued probable cause to arrest any individual” who refused to comply with the orders.
“At the time of the events detailed herein, the atmosphere surrounding the arrests was extremely intense and had turned violent,” the judge wrote. “Participants in what had turned from a peaceful assembly to unlawful assembly were advised to disperse. Numerous warnings had been announced to the crowds to do so.”